The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players
#36 John Tudor SP
John Tudor reminds me a lot of the case of his Cardinals’ teammate Bob Forsch. Tudor didn’t have the years with the Cardinals that Forsch had, but he had the numbers throughout his time as a Cardinal to make his way onto this list.
In about four and a half seasons as a Cardinal, Tudor went 62-26 with a sparkling ERA of 2.52 and an impressive FIP of 3.36. While Tudor only posts a fWAR of 14.1, its that sparkling ERA and remarkably low BB/9 of 1.99 that gets him on this list, as opposed to someone like a Joe Magrane who has a 14.2 fWAR.
Tudor’s best season without a doubt came in 1985, his first season with the Cardinals. That year Tudor went 21-8 with a 1.93 ERA (2.71 FIP), a 185 ERA+, a remarkable league leading 10 shutouts, and a league leading WHIP of 0.938.
All of these numbers weren’t quite good enough for Tudor to outlast Dwight Gooden‘s spectacular 1985 season as the NL Cy Young award winner, as Tudor finished second.
That year Tudor was worth a really good 6.4 fWAR, adding to his 25.1 fWAR over his entire career. If you count the 4.0 WAR that Baseball Reference gives to his 1988 season and add that to his 14.2fWAR, Tudor was worth 18.2 WAR in his career as a Cardinal.
Putting that in reference to the fact that Tudor spent less than five total seasons in St. Louis is incredibly impressive and not only makes him one of the best pitchers in Cardinals’ history, but one of the best overall players in Cardinals’ history.
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